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Kerry: Will look into claims US bugged EU

Associated Press
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives for a press conference at the ASEAN meeting in the International Conference Center in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Monday, July 1, 2013. Kerry swapped his Mideast peace portfolio for issues in emerging Southeast Asia and road bumps in U.S. relations with Russia and China when he landed Monday in Brunei for a regional security conference. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives for a press conference at the ASEAN meeting in the International Conference Center in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Monday, July 1, 2013. Kerry swapped his Mideast peace portfolio for issues in emerging Southeast Asia and road bumps in U.S. relations with Russia and China when he landed Monday in Brunei for a regional security conference. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he doesn't know all the particulars about allegations that the U.S. bugged European Union offices. But he says many nations engaged in international affairs undertake lots of different kinds of activities to protect their national interests.

EU Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton raised the issue with Kerry on Monday during a meeting on the sidelines of a security conference in Brunei.

The Obama administration is facing a breakdown in confidence from key U.S. allies over secret surveillance programs that reportedly installed covert listening devices in EU offices.

Several European officials, including officials in Germany, Italy, France, Luxembourg and the EU government itself, say the new revelations could scuttle ongoing negotiations on a trans-Atlantic trade treaty.

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